Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Day #3

On Monday morning, I walked in just a sweatshirt and was actually too warm.  It was over 50 degrees before the sun even came up.  Tonight, the temperature is 5 degrees with a wind chill of -16.  Yeah.  Welcome to Iowa.

Yesterday we had a snow day, our third to be exact, but only the first since the New Year.  I'm busy with musical rehearsals, and like always, we can never afford to miss a day.  This morning we had a late start, and that's much more my style in January & February.  If my school day didn't start until 10:00 every day, I'd be the happiest camper alive.  Even just that extra 45 minutes this morning before the alarm went off was a gift.  There's a big difference between 5:45 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. in this night owl's book.

Now I'm procrastinating leaving school.  I need to venture out into the arctic tundra and go home.  Maybe I could just sleep here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book of Mormon

Yesterday, I saw the touring show of The Book of Mormon in Des Moines.  It pushed the edge of the envelope in just about every way imaginable.  I laughed, I was touched, I was offended, I was giddy, I was grossed out, I was breathless, and I was very glad I saw it.

There was a lady two rows down from us who walked out.  To some extent, I can understand why.  The show is offensive in so many ways.  I can't even begin to count how many.  But... one thing I never understand (something similar happened when I saw Rent on Broadway) is if someone is going to spend that much money going to the theater, why don't they do a little research first?  Maybe they have a lot of money... so much money that an $80 ticket (or way more if you're actually in New York) for two hours on a Saturday night isn't a big deal.  Maybe they don't watch TV or read the paper, but The Des Moines Register has printed at least two different articles on the show and what people can expect.  I just don't get it.  Do your homework, people!

Anyway, here's the message I took away from the show:  When it comes to faith, we don't have to believe every single little thing we're told, without question, for our faith to be uplifting and to make a difference.  Our faith can change our lives and the lives of others.  Some of it might sound ridiculous or impossible, but to me, that doesn't matter.  Elder Price sings "I Believe" in the show before he has learned that lesson, but it's such a great number.  And, the little Sound of Music spoof at the beginning made me grin.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


I wish I could credit this, but someone posted it on Facebook with no credits.  It spoke to me so much that I wanted to post it here on my blog.  This picture is what it's about.  When we support each other and lift each other up, great things can happen.  Barack Obama didn't get here alone.  No President has ever done it alone.  None of us ever do.  We walk the roads others have built for us.  And then, hopefully, we take our turn laying a few bricks ourselves.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Day in January When It Was 54 Degrees

I sat outside without a coat today at Doc's Inn and ate a buffalo burger and then had a Sprite. The joy was immeasurable, especially since I was reading from my new Kindle, Colin Firth (more on that another day).

My bliss lasted 2 whole minutes and through one actual bite of my burger. Then someone invited himself to sit at my table. I was polite and didn't say no. This person has some disabilities and makes me a little uncomfortable when he hugs me way too long and way too hard. No hugging today though, so we enjoyed our lunches and the sunny, warm Iowa day.

The line at the car wash was mind-boggling, but Colin Firth and I didn't mind. And my car is SHINY now!

On a side note, what exactly is one supposed to do when hugged uncomfortably by someone who doesn't understand social etiquette? I never want to be mean, but...

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's the stuff dreams are made of...

Did you hear Seattle's news?  Even principals are paying attention (click here).  It's the stuff I dream about... taking charge of what we know is best for kids.

Monday, January 14, 2013

And So It Begins...

I officially started grad school today.  I have enough grad credits for a degree, but I was never part of a program, so they're all for naught... well, except for about 3 hours of them.  Ah well.  The woes of an indecisive procrastinator.  I'm taking Instructional Technology right now, and then after the kids' play is over, I'll add an Acquisition of Language class to my load.  It's 5 hours total, and they don't recommend over 4, but I think I'll be fine, especially after the middle school play is history. 

I'm looking forward to the class.  I just love being in school.  I can't help myself.  I'm actually shocked that I didn't go out and buy special school supplies for the occasion.  Maybe it's because I'm starting in January.  It doesn't have that fall, back-to-school feel.

Everyone say a prayer that I keep my sanity these next 2 years.  I'm sure I'll be stressed to the max, but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Not... But...

Well, it's not Starbucks, but...

Fairfield finally has a coffee chain.  Our little metropolis is feeling quite big-time with its very own Caribou Coffee which opened today.  I haven't been there yet, but I'm excited to try it out.  I'm also a little scared to try it because I'm broke enough as it is!

On an unrelated and equally trivial note, my hair is finally long enough for a ponytail.

Yes, these are the things that occupy my mind during the accumulating stress that always is the third quarter.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I only blogged 27 times in 2012.  That's a record, and not a good one.  I could easily analyze why.  I know it's because I've been dealing with a  lot of inner stuff this year.  I feel like I've been surviving.  It takes work to survive, but it's not always work you want to share with the world.  I've been sad.  I can usually keep it at bay, but reflecting and letting my guard down sometimes hurts too much when I'm sad... even if I'm just reflecting about nothing important.  I know I'm emotionally strained because I cry every time I do my centering prayer, every time I quiet myself enough to let the wall down for a little bit.  But this is a new year.  It's going to be better this year.  :)

I had a nice holiday.  I went to Altoona to do annual Christmas baking with the Kurths, Matt & Omara came down for several days, and it was nice to see them.  I got to see Tracy for a day.  My dad got a kidney stone, which was not good, but he's finally home from the hospital and resting comfortably.  He can't do anything half-assed.  The thing was the size of a pencil eraser!!!  Andrew is still recovering from knee replacement surgery.  He's working hard in therapy, and despite the facts that I'm a terrible nurse and he's a terribly impatient patient, we're hanging in there.  :)

Back to Tracy... this was my big Christmas present from Tracy: a pink cheetah bike helmet.  She wasn't sure I'd like it, and honestly, I wasn't sure either.  It's kind of a weird present to get.  But... after 4.2 seconds of looking at it, I fell in love.  I can't wait for spring to be able to use it!  Her rationale behind it was that I always say how ridiculous I look in my bike helmet.  It's just a silver bike helmet, but let's face it, bike helmets look RIDICULOUS.  She thought that if I'm going to look ridiculous, I should totally embrace it and REALLY look ridiculous!  I LOVE IT!

Here's my bike helmet story (the reason I always wear one even though I hate them so much):  One summer while teaching at the Wabash Arts Camp in Shenandoah, my class helper (my dearest Brenton) told me that he would have to miss class the next day because he had to pick his dad up from the hospital.  I told him that was fine, and I asked him about his dad.  It turns out his dad had been in the hospital for 4 months, recovering from a brain injury.  Brenton's dad had gone to pick up a bike they bought for Brenton's sister.  The bike wouldn't fit in the car, so Brenton's dad decided to ride it home.  The front wheel fell off, and his head hit the street curb.  This caused a brain injury that basically put Brenton's dad in a coma and left him in a state where he would need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.  After hearing this story, I was blown away.  When I could finally speak, I told Brenton that he had just saved my life.  I would never again ride my bike without wearing a helmet.  When I got home from camp, I went to Wal-Mart and bought my ridiculous silver bike helmet, and I never ride without it.  Never.  I think of Brenton's dad, and that makes me put that thing on my head every time, even though I hate it so much.  I didn't grow up wearing bike helmets.  No one my age did.  If you wore a helmet, you were a freak, and your parents were overprotective.  I don't think I'd ever even actually seen a bike helmet until I was in high school.  Anyway, things are different with me now.  Really different, considering the next time I strap on my bike helmet, it will be this awesome pink cheetah one.  If I'm going to look ridiculous, I'm going all out!

Happy 2013, everyone.  Let's make it a good one!
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